The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 22, Number 34, August 25, 2019, Article 20


Thursday, August 15, 2019
Last week I used my Numismatic Diary to highlight NBS and other numismatic-literature related events at the American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money in Rosemont, IL. This week I'll round things out with some other activities, although I know I could never capture it all.

Some of the people I spoke to during the show but have not yet mentioned included Steve Hill of Sovereign Rarities in London, David Kahn, Ken Hallenbeck, Blaine and Ted Shiff of Cybercoins, Tony Terranova, John Kraljevich, Bob Rhue, Dave Wnuck, Steve Hayden, Alan Weinberg, George Cuhaj, Wayne Herndon, Julian Leidman, Rob Rodriguez, Tom Uram, and Jeff Garrett.

The first numismatic item I acquired was at face value, receiving this overstamped dollar bill in change at the snack stand. Was somebody going around spending these at the show?

Republican Senators overstamp on $1 bill
"Republican Senators Are Spineless" overstamp on $1 bill

Perakis currency case ANA 2019 I had a couple other U.S. notes with me to show people. They were $20 and $100 star notes, also acquired at face value - from my local ATM machine. I met E-Sylum reader Terry Cole at the table of Alex Perkakis Coins & Currency, where a similar $20 star note was offered at $30. Nothing to get rich on, but still a fun circulation find.

Friday, August 16, 2019
At the NBS General Meeting Friday morning, Dave Alexander's wife gave me a nice addition for my convention badge - a Computer Geek ribbon! Thanks!

After I grabbed some lunch and dropped some things off at my hotel room and went back on the floor to visit more tables. This is when I got to meet Gil Parsons, whose table I wrote about in an earlier article in this issue.

Wayne Homren 2019 ANA badge

One neat item I was drawn to is something I already collect - Labor Exchange notes.

Gil Parsons table Labor scrip

2019 ANA David Kahn Chuck Heck Among the last tables I visited was that of dealer David Kahn of Maryland. I hadn't met him before, although I'd seen his ads around the web. I was introduced by NBS Treasurer Chuck Heck who was there buying a coin to complete the last hole in the collection of a friend from his local coin club. Chuck is on the right, in front of Dave's table. I learned that Dave had been a visitor to Julian Leidman's coin shop when he was a young collector.

Dinner with Kellen Hoard
Friday night I joined Joel Orosz, Len Augsburger and his wife Debra for dinner with Kellen Hoard and his mom. We went to Café Touche, a nice French place a short ride from the convention center. Conversation was all over the map, numismatic and otherwise. we all had a great time and lingered for quite a while after our meal was complete.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Early Saturday morning I ran into John "JD" Dannreuther in my hotel lobby. We were both heading over to the Rittenhouse Society breakfast. On the way out the door I ran into my old friend Larry Korchnak from Pittsburgh and we chatted for a minute.

When the show opened one of my first stops was the exhibit area. Stay tuned to future issues for more on the two great numismatic literature exhibits at the show. Here are a few of the many photos I took. See the Flickr photo album for many more.

2019 ANA Exhibits IMG_20190817_104614133
Nova Constellatio coppers

2019 ANA Exhibits IMG_20190817_104634258
Crosby's Early Coins of America

2019 ANA Exhibits IMG_20190817_104842030

2019 ANA Exhibits IMG_20190817_104929505
Numismatic Service Medals

2019 ANA Exhibits IMG_20190817_105043659
Pioneers of Rocketry

2019 ANA Exhibits IMG_20190817_110224488_HDR
Counterfeit Detection

To view the complete photo album, see: 2019 ANA Exhibits (

Kolbe & Fanning
I hadn't been able to get a photo at the booth of Kolbe & Fanning yet, so I stopped by for a minute.

2019 ANA K-F table David Fanning George Kolbe under sign
David Fanning and George Kolbe

2019 ANA K-F table George Kolbe Mark Ferguson

Here George is speaking with Mark Ferguson; Kellen Hoard and Tom Harrison are at the NBS table next door.

2019 ANA K-F table George Kolbe thinking Mark Ferguson

Numismatic Cosplay
Sometime during the show I had a brief conversation with Charles Morgan of CoinWeek. He has a number of thoughts on increasing interest and participation in the hobby of numismatics. I had conversations with others at the show as well, and many dovetail well with my own belief that the coin show is far from dead. Attendance and participation may be declining due to encroachment of internet commerce, but there is no substitute for in-person interactions, and shows can be the focal point for that if they morph with the times. People need a reason to look up from their screens and go see other people. They want experiences, and geeky fan conventions such as Comic-Con, DragonCon, Animecon and of course, the Official Star Trek Convention deliver that in spades. So what can coin conventions do to spice it up?

I don't have any easy answers, but one great example is Pat McBride of the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists who attended as Benjamin Franklin. Here are some great convention photos Pat posted on his Facebook feed.

John Kraljevich with Ben Franklin Ben Franklin with Ben Franklin
LEFT: "Ben" with John Kraljevich and a terracotta Franklin medallion by Nini
RIGHT: "Ben" with a draft for 75 pounds that he signed in 1771

And here's "Ben" with Dennis Boggs, who portrayed Abe Lincoln. What a great team!

Ben Franklin and Abe Lincoln

Dinner with Eric Schena
I spent most of Saturday afternoon and evening working on The E-Sylum at my hotel. I learned that my Nummis Nova pal Eric Schena was available and the two of us hooked up for dinner. We walked over to the restaurant plaza behind our hotels and had a nice meal at the Adobe Gilas Mexican restaurant. We had a great conversation about the show and numismatics in general.

Sunday, August 18, 2019: The Invasion of Champaign
The highlight of my own in-person experiences at the show was attending the long-anticipated "Invasion of Champaign" on Sunday, a visit sponsored by NBS to the numismatic library of Dan Hamelberg in Champaign, IL.

My day began with some work on The E-Sylum with the noise of a heavy rainstorm in the background. I hoped it would let up by 9am, when I had to get in the van over at the Hilton Hotel. No such luck. The rain continued pouring in bucketfuls. I was especially dismayed to see cars on the main road splashing more than enough water over the sidewalk for a head-to-toe soaking. Improvising an alternative, I wended my way through the substantial landscaping in front of the row of hotels across from the convention center. It was wet and a little muddy, but I encountered no corpses, hobo camps or other obstacles.

Shortly before 9am I climbed into our rented white van which would be driven by Len Augsburger with his wife Debra navigating from the front passenger seat. I sat in the middle next to Jan Monroe. In the back were Chuck Heck and Jeff Dickerson. Other folks drove there on their way home from the convention. Here's the full list of attendees:

Len Augsburger and his wife Debra Kurtz,
Mike Clark,
Jeff Dickerson,
David Fanning,
Tom Harrison,
Chuck Heck,
George Kolbe and his friend Betty Lowery,
Jan Monroe,
Dave Perkins, and
Garrett Ziss.

Dan's wife Connie was on hand as well as videographer/photographer Lianna Spurrier with her father acting as escort and assistant. I took a ton of photos as well. Not being smart enough to put my phone in airplane mode or ask Dan for a WiFi password, my phone wore itself out uploading backups of my photos and I had to recharge it multiple times. But I captured many great photos, and over fifty of them are available in an NBS Flickr archive album. Here are a sampling of my people shots and "shelfies". For more, see the full photo archive and Lianna's video on the Newman Numismatic Portal, referenced in the earlier article in this issue.

Hamelberg Library IMG_20190818_123631059

Hamelberg Library IMG_20190818_123500037 Hamelberg Library IMG_20190818_141429593
Tom Harrison and Garrett Ziss

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Len Augsburger, Dave Perkins, Garrett Ziss

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Hamelberg Library IMG_20190818_132445288
The Hickox manuscript of An Historical Account of American Coinage

Hamelberg Library IMG_20190818_154708264 Kitchen Hamelberg Harrison Heck Kolbe
Dan Hamelberg, Tom Harrison, Chuck Heck, George Kolbe

Hamelberg Library IMG_20190818_125528085
One of many "shelfies"

Hamelberg Library IMG_20190818_141458448
Our dried-out van before heading back to Rosemont

What a great event! I can't thank Dan and Connie enough for opening their home to us and making the wonderful treasures of Dan's numismatic library available for close inspection. I was snowblind in minutes, overwhelmed by one great rarity after another. Wow! Please do review the photos and video for much more than I can convey in this small space.

Thanks, Dan!

Champaign group picture 2019-08-18
The Invasion of Champaign

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: George Kolbe, Jan Monroe, Chuck Heck, Dan Hamelberg, Wayne Homren, Jeff Dickerson, W. David Perkins, Len Augsburger, Garrett Ziss, David Fanning (in back), Tom Harrison (up front), and Mike Clark.

To view the complete album, see:
2019 Invasion of Champaign (

To watch the complete video, see:

Rush's Thunder Clappers
My trip home Monday morning was uneventful and almost as smooth as my trip to Rosemont. I grabbed lunch on my way home from the airport and read a chapter or two from a book I'd recommended to Pat McBride for his research on Ben Franklin. it's How the Post Office Created America by Winifred Gallagher (Penguin Press, 2016). The title could be seen as a fanboy stretch, but the author makes a very convincing case that the colonial postal system was a premeditated and necessary utility which brought the disparate and far-flung young states together and weaned them from dependency and allegiance to the crown.

One of the architects of the postal system (in addition to printer and Postmaster Benjamin Franklin) was Benjamin Rush, known to numismatists as Treasurer of the U.S. Mint from 1797 to 1813. Rush championed many causes, but his greatest legacy may well have been his support for the post office in order to foster public education.

But I'll finish with this interesting and totally unrelated tidbit I learned from the book:

His modern reputation ironically rests on his brief service as the Continental Army's surgeon general, yet he was an inept doctor who relentlessly purged and bled his patients, not infrequently to death. (The high mercury content of his popular Bilious Pills, laxatives also known as Rush's Thunder Clappers, later helped researchers trace the path of the Lewis and Clark expedition.)

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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